Friday, March 21, 2014

Children's Movies?

So, my Little Man LOVES Disney movies. All of them. I know because I have seen all of them in the past year. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Name one and I've seen it, over and over and over again until he has memorized the storyline AND the songs. Then he will run through the house with his figurines and reenact the movie complete with soundtrack. Yes, it's adorable and annoying at the same time. And he will pick his favorite characters and name his figurines after them. His latest favorite is Frozen and we've seen it at least five times in the past two days.

Ask any of my former students and they will tell you that I am not a big fan of Disney's movies that are adaptations of classic tales. At least not as the only access to the tales. Why? Because they've been revised and I can't stand revisionists. They change the outcome and therefore the moral of the story. For example, in The Little Mermaid they do not live happily ever after like in the movie rather the little mermaid dies. Same thing in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. There's no singing and dancing and everyone dies. No, I don't think small children need to be exposed to death, I'm just saying that when they get older they should be introduced to the real story. However, I read The Little Mermaid when I was no more than four or five years old and I haven't suffered any ill effects.

Anyway, this movie is as far removed from Hans Christian Anderson's The Ice Queen as to be an original story so I don't have a problem with it. In fact, I like it a lot. I know there was some controversy about a Christian undertone or sub-theme and I don't know why. All fairy tales have a good vs. evil, do-the-right-thing, morale. So what if this one does too? And actually, the story is actually about love conquering fear.

I specifically like two things about it. First, there is a lot of humor in it. There is humor for the Little Man. He laughs at the reindeer, Sven, and the snowman, Olaf. I laugh at all the adult humor and subtleties. Actually, it is more humorous to adults I think. Second, is the music. Sure, every Disney movie is famous for its soundtrack and every movie as an Oscar nominated song as does this one, and this one won. But it is not that song, which is fabulous, that I like. What I like is that many of the songs are duets. That's wrong. Not duets. Opera. The music is VERY operatic. It is such a divergence from the typical twittery songs in children's movies. Not the scales or screeching of opera but powerful, harmonic, intertwining, lyrics and music.

If you get a chance to see the movie, do so. It's really good. And, like Little Man, you'll want to see it again. And again, and again, and again.....

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